Utah State football player Jordan Nielsen is one of 28 Football Bowl Subdivision players, and one of just three defensive lineman, named to the College Football Performance Awards 2012 National Freshman Performer of the Year Watch List it was announced Wednesday.
Nielsen is one of three players from the Western Athletic Conference to be named to the CFPA Freshman Performer of the Year Watch List, along with Louisiana Tech running back Kenneth Dixon and San Jose State placekicker Austin Lopez. He is also just one of two players from the state of Utah recognized along with BYU running back Jamaal Williams.
Nielsen, a 6-foot-5, 253-pound redshirt freshman defensive lineman from Smithfield, Utah (Sky View HS), ranks tied for second on the team, tied for fifth in the WAC and tied for 77th in the nation averaging 0.50 sacks per game. He also had 15 tackles (6-solo), 4.5 tackles for loss, two quarterback hurries, one blocked kick and one pass breakup on the season to go along with his four sacks.
Previous FBS recipients of the CFPA National Freshman Performer of the Year include Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller (2011), South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore (2010) and Oregon running back LaMichael James (2009).
Utah State (6-2, 2-0 WAC) continues WAC play this week at UTSA (5-2, 1-1 WAC) on Saturday, Oct. 27, at 12 p.m. (MT). The game will be available to watch live on ESPN3.com.
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.